Cheesy Pesto BLT

Cheesy Pesto BLT

Cheesy Pesto BLT sandwich cut and stacked on a small wooden tray.

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Cheesy Pesto BLT is grilled cheese and BLT sandwiches married together with vibrant pesto.  It’s the indulgent, adult sandwich for the kid in all of us.

I was recently asked by a friend and co-worker what he and his work crew could cook up with limited kitchen gear. Available was a frying pan, electric grill press and a toaster oven.  One of my first thoughts was a  grilled cheese sandwich.  But on second thought, who wants just a grilled cheese, other than a 5-year-old of course?  

I sent him a recipe for a pesto grilled cheese because I knew the combo would be amazing and it got me thinking that it could be the start of something great. I knew I wanted to add some kind of meat, and plenty of chewy bacon was the answer for a heartier sandwich. And how can you not have bacon without fresh tomato slices and cool, crisp lettuce? They bring balance to the melty cheese and salty bacon which are wonderfully paired with the pesto.  So remember, grilled cheese doesn’t have to be “JUST” a grilled cheese. 

Ingredients for Cheesy Pesto BLT arranged on a small wooden tray draped with a white kitchen towel.

Truthfully, the kid in me loves that simple and traditional grilled cheese made with processed cheese slices, but I also love pesto and BLT’s, so it only made sense to put them all together into one delicious sandwich.  So don’t just think grilled cheese when graving crispy fried bread and oozy cheese.  Think Cheesy Pesto BLT!!

Cheesy Pesto BLT
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    2 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    10 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    2 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    10 minutes
    Cheesy Pesto BLT
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      2 people 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      10 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      2 people 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      10 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Heat a non-stick stick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot.
      2. Butter the outside of each bread slice.
      3. Place the bread buttered side down in skillet and layer provolone evenly over two slices. Adjust heat to medium-low.
      4. Spread 1 tbsp of pesto evenly over the cheese and top with 3 slices of bacon each.
      5. Cook on medium-low to medium until bottoms are golden and cheese is melty. (I find medium-low best to melt cheese while not overcooking the bread)
      6. Remove grilled bread from pan and top the cheese side slices with tomato slices. Season tomatoes with freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste. Top with lettuce and remaining grilled bread.
      7. Cut as desired and serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      - You can use fresh or purchased pesto in this recipe.  I do recommend using fresh if possible like my Classic Pesto

      -Prep time is based on using pre-made pesto and pre-cooked bacon.

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      Tarragon Chicken Salad

      Tarragon Chicken Salad

      Tarragon Chicken Salad is piled high and topped with lettuce on a golden bun. The bun sits on a stack of plates garnished with cucumber slices.

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      Here’s to having plenty of summer days that are too hot to want to cook.  Tarragon Chicken Salad is perfect for just such days.  No need to cook when tender chicken pairs up with mustard and creamy mayo for a wonderful salad that’s amazing on a crusty roll, croissant, lettuce wrap or cracker.

       

      Cooked diced chicken rests on a wooden cutting board and is surrounded by dried tarragon and whole grain mustard in preparation for Tarragon Chicken Salad.

      Start with cooked chicken, preferably leftovers or even a pre-cooked roaster chicken for convenience.  While I’m all for making as much homemade as possible, it’s hard to deny the lure of a plump, juicy roast chicken that’s ready when you need it.  Whatever chicken you use, chop it chunky and avoid over mixing it after adding the other ingredients. Overmixing tends to break down the fibres of the chicken a little too much for my liking, so be gentle.

      Along with the crisp chopped celery, I also like to add a few of the celery leaves for a bit of freshness.  I have left out adding any onions to this chicken salad, however, thinly sliced scallions would be a nice additional touch if desired.

       

      Ingredients for Tarragon Chicken Salad are measured into a glass bowl and ready to be stirred. A basket of buns sits in the background.

      The tarragon is a wonderful flavour to go with chicken and mustard. You’ll find that the longer it sits in the salad the stronger the flavour will be.  It does take a little time for it to meld with everything.  By all means use fresh tarragon if you can, using about 3 times the amount of the dry, so in this case, I’d use a tablespoon of fresh.  The fresh won’t require the same amount of melding time, simply mix and enjoy!!

       

       

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      Tarragon Chicken Salad is piled high and topped with lettuce on a golden bun. The bun sits on a stack of plates garnished with cucumber slices.
      Tarragon Chicken Salad
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
        Passive Time
        15 -120 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
        Passive Time
        15 -120 minutes
        Tarragon Chicken Salad is piled high and topped with lettuce on a golden bun. The bun sits on a stack of plates garnished with cucumber slices.
        Tarragon Chicken Salad
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
          Passive Time
          15 -120 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
          Passive Time
          15 -120 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: cups
          Instructions
          1. Add all ingredients to a medium size bowl starting with 1/3 cup of mayonnaise. Stir gently until combined adjusting creaminess with additional mayonnaise and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
          2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to several hours to allow flavours to meld.
          Recipe Notes

          -The tarragon flavour will become more pronounced the longer the chicken salad sits.

          -A precooked roaster chicken that has been chilled works wonderfully.

          Poached Egg and Kale Toasts

          Poached Egg and Kale Toasts

          I love eggs with greens, so when I was on the hunt for a nice lunch, I couldn’t think of what would be better than braised kale and eggs. Poached Eggs and Kale Toasts are not only quick and delicious, but a great way to eat your greens. Need more motivation to kale?  It’s crazy high in vitamin K, high in vitamins A and C and also a great source of fibre to name just a few. 

          Curly leaf kale braised with shallots, red pepper and garlic get a bright finish with a splash of white wine vinegar.  The tender, yet still slightly chewy kale provides a good texture contrast with the soft eggs.  Crisp toast is the perfect crunchy base to soak up any juices and runny yolk. It goes to prove that eating well can be simple and delicious with only a few quality ingredients. Enjoy!

          Author:  Compelled to Cook

           

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          Poached Egg and Kale Toasts
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            4 Toasts 15 minutes
            Cook Time
            12-15 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            4 Toasts 15 minutes
            Cook Time
            12-15 minutes
            Poached Egg and Kale Toasts
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              4 Toasts 15 minutes
              Cook Time
              12-15 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              4 Toasts 15 minutes
              Cook Time
              12-15 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: Toasts
              Instructions
              1. Heat oil in a medium skillet, add shallots and garlic. Cook on medium for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
              2. Add kale, red pepper and water. Continue to cook, stirring often until kale is tender but still has some texture and all the water has been absorbed about 10-12 minutes. Stir in white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
              3. While kale is cooking, add 3" of water to a shallow pot. Bring to a gentle simmer and add 1 tbsp of white vinegar and a sprinkle of salt. Crack eggs, one at a time into the water. Cook for 4 minutes for soft eggs. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess moisture.
              4. Toast bread and butter if desired, top with a generous portion of sauteed kale and top with a poached egg. Sprinkle with chilli flakes if desired. Serve immediately.

              Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes

              Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes

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              Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes recipe is an oldie but a goodie.  A simple way to use the cold, hard mashed potatoes that have been hiding in your fridge for three days. I can say with confidence that I always make too many mashed potatoes.  With the same confidence, I can also say that I’ve had that forgotten Tupperware container of mashed potatoes buried in my refrigerator.  I think we’ve all been there. So the next time you’re sifting through your fridge, desperately trying to find something for lunch and can’t believe you have nothing.  Dig deep and move a few jars to find the lost and lonely tub of mashed potatoes, begging to be consumed.  Mix with a few pantry items and a give a quick pan fry, you’ll find lunch is served.

              What I like about this recipe, is the ratio of potato to egg and breadcrumbs.  I find the cakes stay moist and hold together very well during forming and frying.  While this is my own little version, you could easily customize the flavours to your liking. Maybe try different greens and herbs, garlic, parmesan, corn or sautéed onions. I also used sour cream and fresh dill as an accompaniment, but tzatziki would also be great. Use whatever you have on hand and enjoy!

              Author:  Compelled to Cook

               

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              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

              Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                2 people 15 minutes
                Cook Time
                10 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                2 people 15 minutes
                Cook Time
                10 minutes
                Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  2 people 15 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  10 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  2 people 15 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  10 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. In a medium bowl, mix together egg, spinach, dill,green onion and seasonings. Add mashed potatoes and bread crumbs, mix until well combined. Fold in cheese.
                  2. Heat oil in a non stick frying pan over medium-high heat. While pan is heating, form 1/3 cup potato mixture into approximate 3" patties about 1/2" thick and place into pan as you form them. Cook 4-5 minutes per side until heated through and golden brown. Serve with sour cream and additional fresh dill and sliced green onions.

                  Crispy Chicken Sliders with Wasabi Slaw

                  Crispy Chicken Sliders with Wasabi Slaw

                  I love, love, love crunchy food! For me, the crunchier and saltier the better.  I’m the gal who’ll choose a bag of Doritos over a piece of cake. This may be why I love these amazing Crispy Chicken Sliders with Wasabi Slaw.  The traditional three stage breading using Panko or coarse homemade bread crumbs, makes the crispiest little chicken cutlets that are so perfect with creamy crunchy slaw.  And this slaw has a nice, but not too hot, nasal clearing heat from the wasabi.  It’s a fantastic combination.

                  Yes, you heard me right, there’s wasabi in the slaw, and it’s my new favourite coleslaw.  Creamy, crisp and cool with just enough wasabi to create a warming bite and provide a definite sense that you’re not in coleslaw Kansas anymore.  It’s not “reach for water hot” by any means, but if serving this coleslaw on the side, I’d warn the kids and grandparents…just saying!  With its creamy and tangy dressing, the coleslaw is absolutely perfect with the crispy chicken cutlets.  I like to really pile it on for the ultimate little slider.  Don’t forget this amazing slaw is also great with pulled pork or as a side to BBQ’d meats. But don’t take my word for it, go on and give it a try.  You’ll love these wonderful, easy to put together Crispy Chicken Sliders with Wasabi Slaw.  Enjoy!

                  Author:  Compelled to Cook

                   

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                  I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

                  Crispy Chicken Sliders with Wasabi Slaw
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    8 sliders 55-60 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    10-12 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    8 sliders 55-60 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    10-12 minutes
                    Crispy Chicken Sliders with Wasabi Slaw
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      8 sliders 55-60 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      10-12 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      8 sliders 55-60 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      10-12 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Wasabi Slaw
                      Chicken Cutlets
                      Servings: sliders
                      Instructions
                      Wasabi Slaw
                      1. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, wasabi, salt and pepper. Cover and keep chilled until ready to use.
                      2. When ready to assemble sliders, toss cabbage, green onion and grated carrot with dressing.
                      Chicken Cutlets
                      1. Slice chicken breasts in half horizontally and then cut each half into half again, getting 4 pieces (each being about 1.5 ounces) out of each breast. Place the chicken pieces between two pieces of parchment or wax paper and pound with a rolling pin or flat side of a mallet to 1/4" thick.
                      2. Using 3 shallow bowls, to the first, add the flour, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. To the second, add eggs and water and whisk to combine. To the third, add the bread crumbs.
                      3. Add several chicken pieces to the flour bowl and flip around to coat. Shake off excess and add pieces to egg bowl. Using a fork, flip to coat with egg and place in bread crumbs, turning each piece and patting gently to adhere crumbs. Place breaded portions onto a clean plate or wire rack and repeat breading procedure until all pieces are done.
                      4. Add enough canola oil to a large skillet to just start to cover the bottom. Heat over medium high until hot. Add breaded chicken to pan, being careful not to overcrowd pan. Cook for approximately 2 minutes per side until golden. Remove from pan to a paper towel lined tray to dab off any excess grease and then to a clean plate. Keep warm in a low 225℉ oven while remaining cutlets are fried. Wipe out pan with a paper towel to remove excess crumbs that may start to burn prior to frying more cutlets.
                      5. Slice slider buns in half and brush lightly with butter. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel and place slider buns buttered side down in pan and heat over medium until starting to brown and become warm. About 2 minutes.
                      6. To each slider bun, add a chicken cutlet and top with a generous amount of wasabi slaw. Secure each slider with a long toothpick if desired and serve immediately.